5 Features that make a profitable Rental Property

Investing in a residential rental property can be a great and profitable way to boost your investment portfolio. However, real estate is a tough business. For this reason, it’s important to do detailed research on the pros and cons of real estate investing before buying your first property.

It is important to start your search for property before bringing an agent into the picture, as they may pressure you to an investment that is not best suited for you. During this preliminary research, you’ll want to narrow down several key characteristics you are looking for in your property, such as size, location and amenities. In this article, we will discuss 5 key features to look for to ensure that your real estate investment is a profitable one.

1. Know Your Neighborhood

The location of your property is one of the most important things to consider. Knowing which type of neighborhood you are investing in will determine the type of tenants you will attract, as well as your vacancy rates. For example, if your property is near a university, then you …

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What will the Local Property Tax changes mean for you?

On 2 June 2021, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe confirmed the details of the Local Property Tax (LPT) changes. Once the changes go into effect on 1 November, the government estimates that just over a third (36 percent) of property owners will see an increase on their bill, just over half (53 percent) will see no change at all, and 11 percent will see their tax payments reduced.

First off, what is the Local Property Tax? The Local Property Tax was introduced in 2013, and it is an annual charge on all residential properties in the State. Basically, if you own a residential property, you will have to pay this tax. The charges are currently based on self-assessed valuations carried out in 2013. The amount you pay is based on the valuation of your property, and there are 20 different LPT bands, with the lowest two having fixed rate charges of €90 and €225. The problem with these valuations is that property prices have surged since 2013, while the valuations of property for LPT purposes have not changed since 1 May 2013. …

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4 Easy Ways to Improve your Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is one of the most important and underrated skills that anyone can have. Understanding basic financial concepts such as mortgages, inflation, and interest rates is critical for financial success. Once you unlock this knowledge, you will be better equipped to effectively manage, save, and invest money for you and your family. This knowledge, combined with other good financial habits, is the key to financial well being and freedom later on in life. While everyone has varying degrees of financial literacy, there is an overwhelming amount of resources available to expand your knowledge on financial topics.

 

Read Personal Finance Books

If you enjoy reading, there is no shortage of finance books that cover a broad variety of topics, from eliminating debt to saving for retirement. One book recommended by Forbes magazine that covers the latter is Rewirement: Rewiring The Way You Think About Retirement!, by Jaime Hopkins. This book tackles common misconceptions and bad habits that prevent people from having flexible and successful retirement plans. For a variety of books on many topics, check out Insider’s …

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Is it Getting easier to be approved for a mortgage in Ireland?

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have had many effects on business throughout the world and in Ireland. Every industry has been affected by this pandemic, and many in negative ways. However, this is not exactly the case with the mortgage industry in Ireland.

 

The mortgage industry in Ireland has remained remarkably buoyant over the past year. This is especially significant due to the fact that the country has been under level 5 lockdowns since March of 2020. While one would expect mortgage drawdowns and approvals to decrease like most economic activity, what happened instead was surprising. For the first quarter of 2021, BPFI reports that there were 9,091 new mortgages worth €2.1 billion drawn down by borrowers. These numbers represent a 4.5% increase in volume and a 7.3% increase in value when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2020. This was also the most drawdowns approved in Q1 of any year since 2009. 

bpf

March 2021 was also a strong month for mortgage approvals, especially when considering First Time Buyers (FTBs). In March of 2021, a …

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Could harsher punishments for mortgages in arrears lead to lower rates?

Mortgages are notoriously expensive in Ireland, with rates twice those of the Eurozone average. How best to address this problem has been a hot-button issue in Ireland for some time. Now, some are putting forward a new solution: harsher punishments for borrowers with mortgages in arrears. One of Irish banks’ stated reasons for rates being so high is that failing to meet mortgage payments doesn’t have high enough consequences for borrowers. For example, home repossessions in Ireland aren’t very common, since the process is so complex and can take several years. As a result, loans are riskier investments for lenders in Ireland relative to other Eurozone countries. If this is indeed the reason for rates being high, it follows that tougher treatment of such borrowers would lead to lower rates for everyone else.

Regarding the number of borrowers this would affect, statistics from the Central Bank of Ireland show that 5.3% of all principle dwelling house (PDH) mortgage accounts were in arrears as of December 2020. This percentage includes a total of 38,785 accounts. However, it’s also worth noting …

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Covid-19’s impact on mortgages

The covid-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on all areas of the financial world, including banks, loans, and mortgages. Mortgage arrears, or payments failed to be made by their original specified due date, had been consistently falling every year since 2013. However, Fitch predicts that arrears of at least 90 days will constitute about 14-16% of Irish home loans this year, their highest rate since the financial crisis.

Additionally, the pandemic has led to widespread payment breaks for mortgages in Ireland. Payment breaks involve the deferring of repayment of a loan to a later date; they do not change, however, reduce the total amount to be paid. In March of last year, the major banks in Ireland agreed to industry-wide payment breaks for those facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. This was done out of consideration for borrowers’ situations and lenders’ own desire to avoid high default rates. Ultimately, by May 2020, one in nine owner-occupier mortgage payments was on such a break.

Though this measure was taken of the industry’s own volition, soon after, the …

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Types of mortgages and lending rules

Irish law has specialized sets of lending rules depending on the type of mortgage application. Types of applications are split into three different categories: first-time buyers, remortgaging or switching, and buy-to-let buyers. Depending on which of these categories an application falls under, different loan-to-value (LTV) and loan-to-income (LTI) limits will be used. The former refers to the minimum deposit a borrower must have on a home before getting a mortgage loan. The latter refers to the maximum amount of money borrowers can receive in relation to their yearly gross income; while this is normally capped at 3.5 times one’s income, lenders can provide additional allowances of varying amount depending on the type of application.

Firstly, there are first-time buyers. These applicants are those buying a house for the first time, so the deposit required by LTV limits is understandably less steep. They will need to have a minimum deposit of 10% of the home’s total value. For example, if the price of a home is listed as €250,000, a 10% deposit would amount to €25,000. Lenders are allowed to have …

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The fastest way to get a mortgage

What is the fastest way to get a mortgage in Ireland today? To those unfamiliar and/or engaging with the process for the first time, it can seem drawn out and overly complicated. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. While different people will likely want to use different approaches, but there are some general rules that everyone can follow to ensure their application goes as smoothly as possible.

The first thing one should do is make sure their financial situation is otherwise well and accounted for. In addition to employment and income, this can include things like home insurance and valuation of the property. One should also consider how long they’ve lived in Ireland; depending on the lender, this may be important in their consideration of an application. Borrowers should furthermore ensure that they have good credit and are not too heavily in debt. Lenders are likely to be more apprehensive regarding borrowers with unstable financial backgrounds, as they seem less likely to be able to ultimately repay their loans.

The next things one should keep in mind are …

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What you need when applying for a mortgage

Before applying for a mortgage, one should be sure they have all the necessary documentation. Typically, if one goes through a broker or chooses to go directly to a lender/bank, guidance will be provided on all the necessary paperwork and how to complete it. However, it can save applicants valuable time to try and get pre-approved by either lenders or brokers. In this case, they would likely need to take some initiative.

Documents required for approval and preapproval can vary depending upon the borrower and lender.

All borrowers will likely need:

Proof of ID Proof of Address Personal Public Service Number Proof of Income Financial Statements

Proof of identity can include things like a valid Irish driver’s license or passport. For proof of address, one might consider a utility bill, a tenancy or lease agreement, or government-issued documents that include said address.

Personal Public Service Numbers (PPSN) are issued by the Department of Social Protection (DSP). Non-residents can obtain a PPSN by applying for one with the DSP. Such an applicant will also need to provide proof of …

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Banks or brokers? Which to choose when applying for a mortgage

In applying for a mortgage, there is always the question of whether to go directly to a bank or to go through a broker. There could be advantages and drawbacks to either approach; the former could be faster and/or less expensive, but brokers can provide valuable assistance before and during the application process that make them a viable alternative. Ultimately, which of the two is the better option is based on the individual, and they should consider personal knowledge, experience, and preference when applying.

Firstly, going straight to a bank allows one to avoid paying a broker’s fee. Additionally, there may be an added level of trust associated with conducting negotiations directly. Assuming one has a high credit score, healthy income, and otherwise checks all of the boxes banks are looking for, it could prove to be faster than going through a broker. However, failing to do so might lead to one’s application being rejected out of hand. If an applicant is aware of such complicating factors, they should consider going to a broker instead.

If an applicant isn’t aware …

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